Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dancing the Happy Dance - a finish and a received ornament!!!!

It is finished...It is finished!
Tuesday night I put in the last back stitch
So exciting to have finished the pineapple
Not only did I finish stitching this fruit
Last night I found myself at home
without anyone else here with me
Last night I did NOT have to drive down to the rink
Last night I had the house to myself
Did you hear that...I will shout it out again:

"I had the whole house to myself
The whole house to myself"

So I sat my bottom down in front of the sewing machine and finished
the Pineapple Pillow:
Daisy Bear showing off the Pineapple Pillow
And here is a close up of the pillow:

This morning, after I quickly ran to the grocery store to pick up some mangos for a couple of Mango Kiwi Festival arrangements, I gave the wrapped up pillow to one of our wonderful employees. I think that she was embarrassed receiving the gift, for she thanked me and then put it with her open later when she was on her lunch break (respecting the other employees who didn't receive a gift, which I appreciated...guess I should have thought about the timing a little better). DH said that she did open it and said to him that she really appreciated the handmade item and was touched to receive it.

And...speaking of gifts, Angela P finally received the ornament I stitched her for the Ornament Swap group. Due to a postal strike in Canada it was delayed - but she received it...better late than never, right? Here is the ornament I stitched for her:

Meet Peppermint Paul by Helga Mandl Designs from (I forgot which edition). I stitched it on 28ct evenweave using most of the recommended colors, with only a few substitutions.

Tonight I find myself at home alone again. Matthew was taken to the rink for the last night of the evening hockey clinic by a teammate's parents again and DH took Robert, who skates later in the evening for the same clinic. It is nice to have had these two nights without the need to get in the car and drive down to San Jose...a 40-60 minute drive depending on traffic.

I also had a simi-day off...for I didn't have to go into work or Edibles and I didn't have to drive to a hockey rink. I took this opportunity to:

1. take the car in for their routine oil change

2. go to the grocery store to stock up the refrigerator, freezer and pantry - got 2 teenage boys at home that I have to feed

3. caught up on laundry - now it is up to the boys to put their clothes away where they belong

4. napped

5. went to the local farmer's market down the street which I have been wanting to do since they opened up a month ago. I got some yummy apricots, plums, pluots, aprums, cherries, fresh french bread, tomatoes and green beans. Nothing is better than fresh veggies and fruit from the fields!

6. napped

7. got in a good 6.5 mile run. I wanted to go further, but waited until 11:30am to go out and by that time the temps were well in the high 80s.

8. ate

9. napped

10. got in a good spin on the stationary bike and updated the blog.

Awesome day, don't you think. I will probably be able to pull out Family Sampler and get in some stitches before I get into bed.

Well, that should get you caught up on things here in my household. Hope that things are going well in yours. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It is Friday...

With the arrival of Friday, the hockey committments lessen...only two skates over the weekend: one on Saturday morning and one on Sunday - definitely much more manageable. Only thing on the plate, for me at least, is to work in *Store #2*. I will be there another 5 days until the morning supervisor gets back from vacation. Once he gets back, all the stressfull situations we were anticipating back at the start of June, will have come and gone (stressful situations survived: opening *Store #2*, getting through Father's Day with 2 stores open, employee vacations and balancing all the business stuff with the boys' hockey clinics). Little by little, we will have reached the other side of this hill.

Anyway, on Wednesday evening I put the final X's into the Pineapple and last night, while sitting at the hockey rink, I started working on the backstitching. Here is a photo of what it looks like:
IF I can find some time to sit and stitch over the weekend, I might be able to actually get this done - and even finish it as a square pillow. That is my hope :)

Some thoughts I came across in my inbox this morning:

As a creator, you have the right and the power to make of your life what you wish, to follow your own patterns, to experiment and grow according to your own needs. As a co-creator with God, you have the right and the power to do this in a perfect manner. ~ Bruce Gilbert

Thank you for taking time and visiting! It means a lot.
Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Still here, just very busy!

Just thought I would check in while I had the opportunity! Life as a business owner with 2 locations to manage is a bit overwhelming for DH and I, especially as we are still trying to get the right people in place in store #2. While we have always been grateful for the wonderful people we "inherited" when we took over store #1, we are even more grateful now. It is hard to find hard working, responsible people sometimes. But I have faith that it will work out, it might take a little time - but I know it will all work out. 

Aside from the business stuff...I have been balancing all the hockey clinics; making sure that the boys get down to the rink and back, either by a carpool or me driving them. Only one more week of the evening clinic - but since we are 2-1/2 weeks away from tryouts, I am sure that other clinics and skating opportunities will pop up.

Even with all this running around, I have made sometime to sit and stitch. The pineapple is all stitched - I am just working on backstitching it. It didn't get done as soon as I had hoped, for the lady whom I am making this for has been back in town for over a week. But I am sure that she will understand. As soon as I finish the backstitching, I will post a photo.

Well, that is about it my friends. Thank you for sticking with me! Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Friday, June 17, 2011

TGIF...and the plate lessens

It is Friday. I have made it through the week. It feels like an accomplishment as I look back on Monday-Thursday, days filled with so much and know that I have landed here. Hockey, 2 stores up and running, a part-time job, running the kids to/from things...just making sure that everyone and everything gets taken care of to the Best Of My Ability. And I believe it has...and today I got up & out of bed & on the stationary bike to get in a spin before heading down to *The 1st Store* to work.

Working at *The 1st Store* is the only major activity that I have on my Daily one minor activity that I have to run Matthew (younger son) to and it is local (no long drives down to the rink today!). It feels almost freeing to be down to 1 major activity.

Well, I can't complain too much regarding driving down to the rink for the late shift (Robert's, older son, evening clinic goes from 8-11 and we don't get home until midnight). Being too tired and sporting a little headache for the last two days, I wasn't able to muster up the energy to workout in the fitness room at the rink (something that I enjoy. Nice to get in a good workout at the end of the day to relieve stress) I spent the time in the restaurant at the rink, siting and stitching on the Pineapple...and here is the status:
Just a little bit more to stitch...then there is some backstitching with the dark green...and then it should be done. I am hoping to find sometime over the next 3 days to finish stitching it so that I can finish it off as a pillow and present it to the recipent next Tuesday. Fingers are crossed :)

As I conclude this week, there are a lot of good things to note, which come out of all this crazy-busyness:
  1. The new store opened up as planned on June 15 and is doing well. DH is excited about the staff hired to run the place and about the orders coming in (this location had an Edible Arrangement before, which unfortunately had to shut its doors - so this is like a Re-Opening Under New Management and it looks like the Community is excited to have it back).
  2. Report cards came in the mail and confirmed both boys achieved a "A" average (4.0 GPA). Not only for the last semester, but for the full 2010-2011 school year. We are very proud of them both.
  3. Matthew (younger son) received word that he has been accepted into the Junior Leader program (meaning he will be volunteering at the local park summer camp as a Jr. Leader, assisting the leaders with games & activities, and working with other kids). This is the first year that he will be participating in this activity, which Robert has done in the past, which is a wonderful program that the city recreation center puts on.
And one of the things that come out of all this craziness is friends! In order to help get the boys to the rink, we are blessed to have the families from the hockey community to help out. I believe, aside from the love and support we have as a family - working together to make these crazy days easier to get is the hockey families we have befriended that have lighten the load as well. I am grateful!!!!

Well on that note, I am blessed that you have come to visit today. I hope that you have a wonderful Friday and weekend. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The bus of life - it is going & going & going!

To answer Jayne's (jayne@~aneyeforthreads~) question posed in a comment from my last post...

"Yes, I am at the point where I would love
to stop the bus and get off!"
And I am sure that by the time June 30 comes along, I might not even wait for the bus to stop. June 30th is the last day of one of the hockey clinics - one less activity to plan transportation for. Eventually as a few of the obligations disappear or take a vacation, things should become a little more manageable.

Anyway, I am up and going on this Wednesday morning. The sky is still dark and the full moon is up and staring at me through the window. I am grateful to have gotten up and on the stationary bike this morning, to knock out my exercise before the day begins!

In my inbox this morning was this quote:
True prosperity is not something we create overnight.
It is not a fixed goal, a place where we finally arrive, or a certain state that we will someday achieve. It is an ongoing process that can continue to unfold and deepen throughout our lives.
~Shakti Gawain

It got me thinking at this hour (probably a good thing, to kick start my brain).

What does "prosperity" mean...and what is "true" prosperity?
Well, right now it means a day off - a day to sleep in - a day with no carpools to plan out, nothing to juggle to make work..."true" prosperity would be a day that we could go to the beach as a is a day when having 2 stores (our 2nd one is opening today), active kids and a job aren't too much to handle.

" something we create over night."
Eventually things will get to a point where the kids' activities will not be so much, that the 2 stores will be able to run without DH or I being present...but it is going to take time. Some of the things that define "true prosperity" may not be achievible all at once and definitely not immediately. That I recognized and I believe that DH and the boys do too. For we have talked about it, about pulling together and working as a family unit in order to deal with the craziness of being busy.

"It is not a fixed goal, a place where we finally arrive,
or a certain state that we will someday achieve."
Well, I know that we do have some goals revolving around getting from crazy-busy to manageable in order to have that day off or a family beach days...but there are variations of these goals: having a family beach day on a Sunday after the store closes, taking an afternoon off or sleeping in and starting the day a little later.

"It is an ongoing process that can continue to unfold and deepen throughout our lives." is important to have balance in ones life.
It is an ongoing is a journey.
It is important to recognize the goal, but to understand that it might not be achieved exactly as we plan or hoped for - it might come a little moments: like a night when we are all home together after all the hockey is played and the stores are closed, the night when we are all on the floor playing a board game and eating pop-corn.It is important to live in the NOW, to take advantage of those golden moments that can impact our lives even if it isn't the "true" goal in mind. 

I know I am rambling and maybe thinking too deep for an early Wednesday morning...but lately, with the schedule we have going due to all the activities the family is involved it, I realize that once again my family enters into a new chapter of our life. And with each new chapter there needs to be a "transition phase" - a time when you might look back and grieve of those things that get lost in the transition/change...whether it be that my boys are getting older and more active in their lives or whether owning a business with two locations is taking over the "free time" that use to be. It is all part of life.

Now I am not saying that the family time and the trips to the beach will never happen...I know they will. But like I mentioned above, we can either make the time or utilize the time wisely.

And now I am talking in circles and hopefully not contradicting myself, so I will stop rambling on about it and get going. Thank you for visiting today. I hope that your mid-week day goes well for you!

Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often

Monday, June 13, 2011

First day of summer vacation...

well, at least it is for the boys. They even enjoyed the their pajamas...all day...Saturday and Sunday.

For me...well, just call me the:

Today was Robert's first day of a hockey camp called: Midget Development Camp. It starts at 8:15am and doesn't end until 1pm (and since it is 45 minutes away, we have to leave around 7am and don't get home until 2pm)...thank goodness that I found someone who lives up around here who is willing to carpool. Now I only have to drive one way and then pick up/drop off at a meeting space. Because of this wonderful situation, I was able to get into work as well as get a few other things done before having to pick up Robert at the pick up place. However, tonight I have to go back down to the rink for Robert's evening clinic...Matthew's carpool is taking him down there all week (another thank goodness for neighbors!).

I don't know if you followed all of that above, but let's just summarize it by saying: "The hockey community is well in the Tri-Valley area - looking out for eachother and helping out!" Which I am grateful for especially while we have the morning and the evening clinics to deal with. This lasts until June 30th...then we should go down to just the morning one, but you never know what they plan for pre-tryout clinics. I'll tackle that one later, when I have to. Now, I just want to live in the beautiful of wonderful neighbors.

As I type this, I am multi-tasking...with Matthew on his way to the rink with neighbors...Robert taking a nap before having to go back to the rink, I get to have my spin on the stationary bike...getting in some evening me time. However, with my exercise out of the way now, I get to pull out my stitching when I get to the rink! Yahoo! Definitely looking forward to it!

Hope all is going well with you! Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Status photo...and sad news

Do you want the stitching update or the sad news first?

Well, lets get the sad news over with and finish up with the positive, right...

This morning I went out the front door and was greeted with SILENCE. No more chirping, no more squawking. Only SILENCE. The abondoned baby birdies were quiet. Poor things starved, I am sure. Next to the nest, I noticed the long, dark trail of ants. Damn those bugs! It bothered me that they were taking advantage of the situation. Sometime nature is hard to take. I decided that the best thing I could do, it take down that nest and disposit it and the baby bodies. I hope there is a special place for little birdies...

Now, for something more positive
Pineapple is coming along, however I am definitely getting sick of green! I am hoping to get a lot of stitching in today because I really need to get this finished up!

Yesterday was Robert (older son) last day of school...he is now a sophomore in high school. Matthew (younger son) finishes up today...he will be a 7th grader. Yikes! Who gave them permission to grow up? Both had a successful school year and look forward to a little break from schoolwork over the summer.

Tonight we have no hockey to drive to - just a nice evening at home. We are planning to get the grill going and cook up some good food for dinner (versus the quick-to-fix microwavable foods we serve up for the pre-hockey meals Monday-Thursday)...and then watch the Vancouver Canucks vs. Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Playoffs. A perfect recipe for a Friday night...especially when you throw in some stitching :)

Hope your Friday is going well. Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Missing - A Mother..."Are You My Mother?"

I got to thinking about the Dr. Seuss Book: Are You My Mother?
For if you see a greyish bird flying around, looking lost and sad, you might need to give her directions to the top of our front door...

What use to be 5 hungry mouths, is down to 4 as of this afternoon -
looks like one fell out of the nest and was becoming lunch to a lot of ants
 (it made me tear up and I had to wash the ants off and move the poor thing; allowing it to die in peace).
It has been awhile since I have seen either the mother or the father of this little family.
I am hoping they didn't go away and abandon their hungry offsprings.

Sadly yours,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday's Typings...

Well, my 4:30am alarm went from a static radio noise to more of a human approach - DH basically annoyed me until I got up and left the bed. It worked - I'm up and spinning on the stationary bike - but feel bad that he has to get fully away at the bewitching hour to force me out...but I do appreciate it!

So, I got the camera all fired up this morning before I hopped on the bike to show you the status of pineapple:
With the pineapple fruit part stitched, I have moved down to the green leafy part at the bottom. Since a couple of the shades of green are so close, I think that part of my counting was wrong on a part I worked on over the weekend...but I will continue to stitch until I figure where I might have messed up. I have been highlighting the pattern as I go, but I think that I still am slightly off in the green area on the right hand side. We'll see what happens. Because the shades are so close in that area, I might be able to mask the area without it affecting the finished product...but you know how that goes. We are our worse enemy - wanting perfecting and seeing the mistakes that no one else sees, right?

While snapping a few photos this morning, I thought I would also show you the green fabric I purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics last week to back the pineapple:

I thought this green batiky fabric was a really close match to the greens used in the top part of the pineapple as well as the leafy part on the bottom. I was thinking about finding something with pineapple, but I didn't see any pineapple prints at all. I did find some prints of other fruit that could represent some of the other fruit that we use in the fruit arrangements at the store (I don't know if I mentioned that I was making this for one of our cherished employees who has been out of town visiting her family for almost a month), but I didn't think that the banana patter or the orange one I found would really go well with what I stitched...figured simple is better for the pillow.

However, while rummaging through the fabrics I found this perfect print and purchased a 1/2 yard of it:

I love watermelon! It is the staple of my diet! When I first moved here, the first "friend" I made was Dianne the produce manager of our Safeway grocery store down the street. Seven years ago, it wasn't common to carry watermelon all year long; so after visiting with her watermelon started to show up more often in the store and I became known as the "watermelon lady".

Anyway, I am not sure what I will do with this fabric yet, but I have a finished stitched piece that has a watermelon on it which I have not done anything with...and I have several other watermelon patterns in my "to be stitched" box...maybe I will use this fabric to finish one of those projects off some day. In the mean time, I will enjoy looking at it while eating watermelon!

Ahhhh, it feels so good to be up and moving my body...spinning my legs and sweating. My head is now feeling clear and I am feeling more alert as this morning continues. I am sure that the sun will start to brighten the land, which I can watch from the window in front of me. They are talking of warming temps starting today, maybe even hitting 80 by Thursday. That would be a nice change. However, with the record amount of rain we have received which prolonged our spring here - the hills which started to take on their summer dry yellow color over the last few weeks have started to show a little shade of green again. Maybe the fire season will not be as bad this year.

Well, my friends it is time to wrap this up. I appreciate your visit and hope that you have a wonderful Tuesday! Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday's Mumbling

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

And now Monday has arrived...
My alarm clock went off this morning - @ 4:30am - which is my bewitching hour for getting up and exercising. It is my "ME" time that I have to make for myself; otherwise this quiet time - time to do whatever I want to do - time for a good long sweaty spin on my stationary bike to refresh my self for the upcoming day - is time that I don't get as the day goes on. However, lately when that clock announces "morning" with the noise of static radio, I have been hitting that OFF button unconsciously. Due to the craziness of my life with all the activities going on, I am sure that the new routine off turning off the alarm by my body is a good message that I need my sleep. However, when I sleep through that alarm I don't get in my sweaty spin and then I become the dreaded "Mean Old Mom"
Any way...alarm went off and I am up and spinning - good start to the day.
"But what day is it?" That is the thought that popped into my head when that static radio noise came on this morning. DH nugged me, after I hit that OFF button, to help me achieve my goal of my early morning "ME" time. But it took me a few moments to figure out what day of the week it was, something that is occuring more and more as I have been working in *The Store* on the weekends. The days all seem to blend together lately. Do you ever feel that way? That no matter what day of the week it is, they all seem the same?
Oh, well...I am up and going - Yahoo!
This week is the last week of school for the boys - hard to believe that on Friday, Robert will have finished his first year of high school and Matthew will have completed his first year of middle school. It has been a wonderful year for both! Yet, with the start of summer vacation in sight, I don't think that it will be any less busy for us all. Both boys have hockey clinics to attend and Robert has some summer assignments to accomplish before the beginning of the next school year for his Honors English class. We are waiting to hear if Matthew will get the summer Jr. Leader camp counselor (volunteer - nonpaid) position he applied and interviewed for...this is something that Robert has done for the last few years but can't do this year because he has aged out. Well, we just take things a day at a time around here.
Well, even though life is busy and quick around here, I did manage to find time to plant my butt and stitch on Saturday evening. Progress is being made on the pineapple (unfortunately my camera was downstairs this morning, so I couldn't get a progress photo taken to show you today). I visited our new Jo-Ann fabrics on Friday afternoon - they opened a new larger one in our city while closing the smaller one down - and got some greenish fabric, which matches the different green shades of the pineapple foliage. I am planning to make the pineapple into a pillow.
It is time to stop all this mumbling and sign off so that I can catch up with all of you out there in blog world. I have skimming through a lot of your blogs, trying to keep up to date on all of your activities and stitching project, but just haven't had a lot of time to comment. Hope that is ok?
Take care, my friends, and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Wednesday...It's June...

Happy June 1st. With the weather we are having the local tv station nicknamed this month "Jun-uary". It has been cold, gray, rainy here with snow up in the Tahoe/Sierra Mountains. Well, just so that the weather doesn't get me or anyone else down, I did get to snap a few shots of our beautiful roses which are blooming:

We do have other colors of roses - red, pink, yellow, white and purple...but this one, which I think is called Candy or Cotton Candy, is my favorite. When they bloom there are shades of pink, purple and yellow. They are spectacular. As you see I was playing with the camera and took one in sepia tones.

How was your Memorial Day weekend? My parents, from Minnesota, were in town. It was nice to have them here for a few days. They got to spend a lot of time with their grandsons as I was busy working in *The Store* and DH was busy working in the *New Store* in order for it to be ready for it's opening mid-June. But grandma and grandpa didn't have anyproblems hanging out with their grandsons, especially since they don't get that opportunity very often. It was "Golfing with Grandpa" on Saturday followed by a shopping trip to the Hockey store on Sunday (both boys received some new hockey equiptment from the grandparents - very nice indeed!). We also enjoyed a wonderful meal on Saturday night - grilled steaks & chicken the rain...and all sat down around the table: DH, me, the boys and my parents. Good food, good wine...lots of laughter and love!

Monday - Memorial Day - mom and dad left in the early afternoon while DH and I were working in *The Store*. We gave our employees the holiday off and we came in for 1/2 day to make several arrangements and get them delivered before closing the store and heading home for an afternoon nap. Here is one of the special Memorial Day arrangements I made for a customer for their holiday picnic:
Strawberries dipped in white chocolate and then in blue sprinkles, White chocolate covered strawberries and then strawberries "naked"...white & dark covered bananas (many times the white/dark chocolate covered bananas get mistaken for marshmallows in the photographs)...melons, pineapple daisies and stars...YUMMY!
The customer was definitely WOWed when she picked it up!

Between visitors, working in the store and finding opportunities to get in a good jog or a bike ride, I did make some time for stitching. First of all I did put the finishing touches on the ornament for Angela for the Ornament Swap...and will drop it off at the post office today! In addition, I have been working on the pineapple some more and this is what it looks like now:
Definitely looking like a pineapple, don't you think? I am just down to the "confetti" stitches within the pineapple, which are very tedious to try and figure out which color is which right now, but I figure I will be done with this part within a day or two. Below the pineapple is more greenery. I do have a deadline for this project - June 13, the day one of our employees gets back in town from her month long vacation visiting family. She likes square pillows, so I will probably finish it off as one...just need to find some fun fabric for the backing. MMmmmm, I think I have some ideas.

Well, friends it is time for me to wrap this off. I was so excited that I was able to get my a$$ out of bed and on the stationary bike as well as update my blog! Good start to the Wednesday morning, good start to June!

Hope all is well with you...until next time, remember:

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!